First Aid for Poisoning

If a person is unconscious, having seizures, or having diffuculty breathing, call 911 right away.

Call the Maryland Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 after performing the following first aid.

Swallowed Poison:

Gently wipe out the mouth and give a small amount of water. Do not make the person vomit by putting a finger in their throat or giving them Syrup of Ipecac, egg whites, mustard, or any other home remedies. Syrup of Ipecac is a medicine that makes a person vomit. Its use is no longer recommended by the MPC or the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Poison on the Skin:

Remove contaminated clothing and jewelry then rinse the skin with lukewarm (not hot) water for 10 minutes. 

Poison in the Eye:

Flush the eye with lukewarm (not hot) water poured from a large glass two or three inches from the eye, or from the faucet or shower. Continue flushing the eye for 15 minutes. Have the person blink as much as possible while flushing the eye. Do not force the eyelid open.

Inhaled Poison:

Immediately get the person to fresh air. Open doors and windows or turn on a fan in the area.


Download and print a one-page First Aid for Poisoning Information Sheet

Looking for prevention information on a specific substance or exposure? Check out our educational materials page and Poison Prevention Press newsletter for more resources.